Kent Richmond, project manager for Klocke Inc., Palmyra, Mo. was named the Altorfer Cat dealer champion at the first Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge event of the 2022 – 2023 competition season.
Richmond clocked an overall time of 2,115 seconds, beating out 24 other equipment operators from Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. He, along with 34 other dealer champions selected from March through September 2022, will travel to North Carolina in October for the North American regional semifinals.
Taking second place was Chris Dykes, superintendent for McCleary Excavating Co. Inc. of Blue Grass, Iowa with a time of 2,294 seconds. Chandler Concrete & Excavating’s Brandon Chandler placed third in 2,470 seconds.
Dealers must hold at least three different challenges using three separate pieces of equipment. Participants at the Altorfer event, which was held inside Caterpillar’s Edwards facility, were required to complete the following tasks:
- Station 1 - Doze it Fit: Use a Cat D5 dozer and Cat Grade with Slope Assist™ to push a barrel around the course with penalties for going out of bounds and crushing the barrel. Participants also created a 20 percent slope with penalty for not making grade.
- Station 2 – Fork + Loader: Load a Cat 735 truck with 30 tons of material using the 982 XE loader with Cat Payload technology with penalties for not hitting the mark. Bucket capacity meant the third load needed to be tipped off to hit 30 tons, and those using the loader’s Tip-off Assist technology held an advantage. Operators then moved to a Cat 299D3 compact track loader to assemble a metal tree and load tires on the limbs.
- Station 3 – Hard as Hex: Pick up a metal bar with a Cat 308 CR mini hydraulic excavator and maneuver it through a series of obstacles. Afterward, competitors moved to a Cat 317 excavator to load 7 tons of material in a Cat 740 EJ truck using Cat Payload with penalties applied for spilling outside the rock box and not hitting the 7-ton target.
- Station 4 – Backhoe: Use a Cat 420 XE backhoe loader to put tires on metal tree limbs, place large boulders on tires and maneuver a metal bar to run through obstacles. The final task was to cross a trench without hitting a cord running through the trench.
The Challenge seeks to test the skills of all operators using the latest Cat excavators, loaders, dozers and backhoe loaders, as well as raise awareness to opportunities available for people interested in the industry.
At the regional finals, Caterpillar will name two winners from North America representing the East and West; one winner from South America; three winners from the regionals in Europe, Africa and the Middle East; and three winners from the Asia Pacific finals.
Those nine winners will compete in the global finals in March 2023 at Caterpillar’s outdoor exhibit at ConExpo-Con/Agg in Las Vegas. The winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to one Caterpillar facility worldwide.